Call for Papers: FRAME 34.2, “Writing the Mind”

deadline for submissions: 
May 21, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
FRAME. Journal of Literary Studies

In Ellen Forney’s autobiographical comic Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo and Me (2012), the author narrates her journey following her bipolar disorder diagnosis, a journey that sets off an exploration into how her art is connected to that of the “crazy artists” of the past. Just like Vincent van Gogh and Sylvia Plath, whose work has been connected to their mental health status, Forney explores how her condition possibly influenced her art. Through her struggle with identity, medication, and periods of mania and depression, Marbles depicts how Forney arrives at the conclusion that her art is not dependent on her “bipolar brain”: “I’d say my ‘creative thought process’ is there whether I’m manic or stable… It’s just how my brain works” (217).¹ The ways our brains work inform the way we see, understand, and narrate the world we live in, as well as ourselves and others. 

The next issue of FRAME will focus on the topic of “Writing the Mind”. We invite scholars of literature and related fields to consider the connections between mental health, writing, and literary studies. How does mental health shape our understandings of literary practices? How does literature shape our understandings of mental health in different contexts? How has this artistic discipline informed the imagery about the way the mind works? And what can literature and literary studies offer to this field of medicine? Themes and topics related to these questions might include (but are not limited to):

  • Literary (mis)representations of mental illness and the usage of stereotypes
  • Literature and mental health stigma
  • The history of gender and sexuality as mental illness
  • The relation between the mental and physical 
  • (Life) writing as therapy
  • Disability studies perspectives on the mind
  • The role of literature in the training of medical professionals of the mind
  • Current approaches to mental health in the (medical) humanities
  • Intersections between mental health and other identity categories (e.g. gender, sexuality, race, nationality, religion, etc.)

The questions and concerns presented are only a few of the many themes that could be included in the upcoming issue. If you are interested in writing for FRAME, please submit a brief proposal of 250 words max. before May 21. The deadline for the submission of the full article is August 17. An article for the journal has a word limit of 5400 words, including bibliography and footnotes. For our Masterclass section, graduate students and Ph.D. students are invited to write up to a maximum of 3500 words. Please feel free to contact us at info@frameliteraryjournal.com, should you have any questions. More info can be found on our website: www.frameliteraryjournal.com.

Check our submissions guidelines here.

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¹Forney, Ellen. Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo and Me. Gotham Books (2012).